As the cold winter months draw in, a group of women across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are on a mission to keep people in need warm by picking up crafting cosy scarves.
Aberdeen businesswoman Yekemi Otaru started crocheting when she was just eight and recently picked up the craft again and made a couple of scarves.
After some thought, she realised it would be nice to create some warm, cosy scarves for those in need over the winter months.
Knowing she couldn’t crochet nearly enough scarves she ran the idea of setting up a group by a couple of friends who instantly agreed to take it up.
From there the group grew as members of her local church in Inverurie joined and others spotted her post on the Aberdeen Gossip Girls Facebook group.
Now, around 14 ladies from Aberdeen, Fyvie, Stonehaven and Westhill are all working their hooks to help keep others in their community warm.
Ms Otaru, who was recently installed as the University of the West of Scotland’s (UWS) chancellor, explained she is “passionate” about helping the community.
She said: “This seemed like an easy way to get people involved, to be honest – and it’s quite addictive, you crochet one scarf and you can’t stop.
“We have a Whatsapp group, people with different abilities, people wanting to learn crochet to make the scarves and more advanced crocheters as well – and it’s just a really nice group.”
Complete beginners join crochet effort
Anyone can join the effort, including people who have never crocheted before like Mabel McLean.
Mrs McLean had seen the post on Aberdeen Gossip Girls, and despite having never crocheted before thought she would give it a go.
The 40-year-old laughed, remembering how “awful” her first attempt was but admitted her skills have improved along the way.
In the past, her family has supported various charities, however, with money being that bit tighter this year for everyone she felt this would be a good way to help.
The mum-of-two said she has been crocheting around her children Freya, five, and Harris, seven, who have both been asking questions about where the scarves are going and helping with colour choices.
Her children have been left impressed their mum can make scarves, and have both been promised their own.
She said: “It’s been a good learning curve for me, and I wanted to get involved because it’s that time of year and the cost-of-living-crisis is insane. As much as we would love to do all the usual charitable things we can’t.
“I thought this was a nice way for me to do something, get the kids involved, they have tried to do some stitches with me, and it’s not just about throwing money at something, there are other ways you can help out.”
‘It’s a really nice feeling’
Other beginners like Emma Armes have also joined in the effort.
Mrs Armes recently learned how to crochet at a class in Stonehaven and quickly became addicted.
She had seen another Facebook group called the Random Acts of Crochet Kindness where people leave cute little things they’ve crocheted around for people to find.
“I was sort of wanting to do something like that,” she said.
“Then I saw Yekemi’s post on Facebook about making scarves, which is what I learned to make, I thought I could make those easily without any pressure while being able to help people.
“It’s a really nice feeling to think that you’re making something, not just randomly, but actually something someone can benefit from especially just now with everything that’s going on.”
‘I see potential for it to be massive’
Ms Otaru plans on coordinating with local charities and outreach programmes to get the knits to those who need them most.
Some people have even started offering to crochet more warming woollen items like blankets and socks to start handing out.
Others who can’t crochet or don’t have the time have been donating balls of yarn to support the effort.
Ms Otaru said: “People can still join the group – I see the potential for it to be massive.”
She is also encouraging people in other areas like Moray, Highland and the islands to create their own crochet groups to do a similar project.
To find out more about joining the group, creating your own, or donation drop-off points email Ms Otarua at email@example.com